Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., spends many hours on the road each week with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series in his quest for the series championship. When the Outlaws come to Little Valley Speedway next Thursday, there will be a familiar competitor Clanton will have to deal with, his father-in-law Ron Davies.
Davies, of Warren, Pa., is a frequent top runner and winner whenever the Super Late Models compete at Little Valley. He holds down the Little Valley points lead with just a few races to go.
Clanton is second to Josh Richards of Shinnston, W. Va., by 48 points as the series heads to a pair of races in Michigan this weekend.
Clanton is married to Davies’ daughter Michelle.
Clanton will lead the traveling stars to Little Valley to take on the area’s local drivers including Ron Davies, Dutch Davies (Ron’s brother), Jason Dupont, Dick Barton, Boom Briggs, Mike Knight, Brent Rhebergen and David Scott among others.
Therefore the World of Outlaws race at Little Valley, which is a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win affair, will find the best local drivers defending their turf against the nationally ranked invaders.
Through 34 World of Outlaws events this season, Richards has won a series’ high seven races; Clanton has won four, the most recent of which came June 1 at the Stateline Speedway in Busti. Each has recorded 30 top tens.
“I have a lot more drivers to worry about than just my father-law Ron when we get to Little Valley,” said Clanton. “They’ve got a lot of good drivers from the Little Valley area and of course we have good drivers in our series. If Ron and I could finish 1-2 at Little Valley, no matter what order, that would be great.
“Right now the difference between me and Josh Richards is just really bad luck, along with the fact he’s got more wins. You’ve got to have a lot of seconds and thirds as well to win championships. We’ve had just a little more bad luck finishes than he has. We have a couple 26th- or 28th-place finishes this year and that’s not good.”
When the Outlaws series came to Little Valley for the first time last August, Clanton rolled to a sixth-place finish. He had run in a regular season race at Little Valley the year before.
“I remember I brought my own car to Little Valley two years ago and I ended up hitting the fence off of Turn Two and that was it,” Clanton recalled. “Little Valley is a pretty demanding track with long straightaways and tight corners. There is not much room for error there.”
Clanton, who builds his own cars through his company Capital Chassis, has been racing Late Models for 12 years and says he met the Davies family about five to six years ago when he was racing at the Eriez and Stateline speedways.
“We get up to see Michelle’s family about once a month,” said Clanton. “Sometimes, it is on a racing trip and other times not.
“Ron’s given me good advice about running at Little Valley. I hope to put it to good use when I get there.”
Other World of Outlaws drivers expected at Little Valley include Rick Eckert, Tim Fuller, Vic Coffey, Chub Frank and Bub McCool.
All grandstand seats, whether general admission or advanced pre-sale reserved tickets, are $25 for adults and $15 for kids (6-11). Those 5 and under are free. To order tickets, call 716-938-9146.
• Two big annual races will be featured on the area docket this weekend. On Friday, the 29th annual $13,000-to-win Alex Friesen Summer Nationals 100-lap 358 Modified race will take place at Ransomville Speedway.
While the race program Friday will begin at 7:15 p.m., a ceremonial planting of two maple trees, one honoring Alex Friesen, who died in a 1996 snowmobile accident, and the other remembering Stan Friesen, who died of cancer last December, will take place at 5 p.m. in front of the main ticket booth.
On Saturday, the annual Tommy Druar/Tony Jankowiak Modified Memorial 110 will take center stage at Elegant Builders Raceway Park in Lancaster at 6:30 p.m.
• History was made last Saturday at the conclusion of the NASCAR Pro Modified feature at Holland Motorsports Complex. When Dave Catalano emerged victorious over his wife, Amy Catalano, and their son Tommy Catalano it marked the first time in the track’s 54-year history that a husband, wife and son respectively placed one-two-three in a race.
• Last weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., the Team Sahlen No. 42 Daytona Prototype co-driven by Dane Cameron and Wayne Nonnamaker captured the pole for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race. It was the first pole for the team in its initial year of competition in the DP class.
Cameron was behind the wheel for the pole run. The car broke an axle with Cameron leading on lap 54 of the race to end the team’s chances for a good day. Elma’s Joe Sahlen is associated with the team.